According to a new study that was reported at the American Stroke Association’s 2013 International Stroke Conference, nearly a third of infant stroke survivors will suffer from seizures later on in life, and as many as 13 percent will develop epilepsy within the first two years of their life.
An intercerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a type of stroke that affects about 6.4 percent of American newborns and is generally caused by a rupturing of weakened or malformed blood vessels. This fact is what prompted researchers to search for the conditions’ link to epilepsy. For this study, researchers monitored 73 subjects that included 53 children (between the ages of one month to 18 years) and including 20 newborns that had experienced ICH between 2007 and 2012. What they found was that 60 percent of the newborns and 43 percent of the older kids had seizures at the time that they had a stroke or within a week after the stroke.
The researchers also found that of 32 patients who were being monitored, 28 percent of them had seizures that likely would not have been noticed without the electric monitoring; 13 percent of all of the patients in the study developed epilepsy within two years; and the patients with higher pressure in the brain that needed surgery to correct developed epilepsy or suffered from seizures. All of this means that of the babies who had suffered from a stroke, many of them also ended up either suffering from seizures or developing epilepsy altogether.
“Information on the risk for later seizures and epilepsy provides practitioners with concrete numbers that can be presented to families,” one researcher said. “While an estimate of 13 percent may seem low at two years, the rate of epilepsy might be greater at later time points.”
Epilepsy affects millions of children and babies worldwide and is often treated with dangerous anti-seizure drugs like Topamax. But Topamax is linked to babies being born with birth defects, including PPHN, oral clefts, spina bifida and neural tube defects, when the mothers take the pills while pregnant. Topamax use is often dangerous because doctors have to guess which dosage to use on patients in order to find the right one. Predicting seizures before they happen may help to change that.
If your baby has suffered from birth defects after being exposed to Topamax in-utero, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injury.